A 33-year-old man who had done too much acid while vacationing with friends in Bodega Bay last year, and who subsequently went on a violent rampage that injured several people — including his friends — and was then shot by police, pleaded no contest this week to six counts of assault with a deadly weapon and stealing a security truck.
Former YouTube engineer Betai Koffi had been drinking after taking what friends say were four tabs of LSD on July 4, 2019, when he turned extremely violent and erratic, as SFist reported last year. The friends say they were trying to prevent him from leaving their rented house when he attacked several of them — including choking one and stabbing another with a pencil. Koffi then got in his rental car and quickly crashed it into the house's garage and ran off toward the beach.
Dispatcher audio from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office includes one of his friends explaining, "He said he thought he was already dead. And that nothing mattered but we thought it was just, you know, drugs talking at the time."
Surveillance footage seen below shows Koffi as he walks on to the property of a neighboring house, barefoot. A security guard for the neighborhood can be seen approaching down a driveway, and Koffi is heard saying "fuck you" to the guy, followed by "Yeah, do whatever you gotta do."
Koffi then assaulted the guard, walked away toward the street, picked up a stake lantern from the garden, and assaulted and injured the guard with the lantern when he was approached again. Koffi then carjacked the guard's patrol vehicle — a pickup truck — and drove it at high speeds through the neighborhood, hitting two people who were out for a walk. (Both suffered non-life-threatening injuries.)
After crashing into a wall and driving through a side yard back onto Pelican Loop, Koffi was confronted by a CHP officer and Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Pasero. When Koffi tried to ram the officers with the truck, Pasero fired seven rounds, hitting Koffi multiple times — including once in the head.
As the Chronicle reports, Koffi awoke from a coma several weeks later, and he remains severely injured, including paralysis on his left side. His attorney, Stephen Gallenson, tells the Chronicle, "He feels terrible about [the ordeal] and he’s remorseful about the harm he caused to others and it’s affected his life significantly... Fortunately, no one except for him was hurt badly."
Koffi and his attorney struck a plea bargain last year that avoided attempted murder charges, but his no contest plea was to 11 separate felonies. He's now set to be sentenced in February, and it's unclear how much jail time he may face.